How to Keep Warm in Aqua Aerobics

Take measures to keep warm when pool water temperature dips.
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Aqua aerobics can be a low-impact yet high-energy exercise, with routines designed for various fitness levels, including people with arthritis and conditions that make land-based exercise uncomfortable. Joint-safe routines rely on a pool's buoyancy to reduce friction on the joints. This means a water workout provides the same cardiovascular benefits but minimizes the joint damage associated with land aerobics. Don't let the chilly water stop you. Talk with your doctor, especially if you have a chronic medical condition, and then jump in.


Aquatic fitness instructors try to keep pool water at a mild 83 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Eighty-three to 86 degrees should be cool enough to provide relief as your body heats up during the class. It's also not cold enough to cause problems with your heart rate and circulation, which can happen when swimming in water below 78 degrees Fahrenheit; however, you may find this temperature a bit cool. Wear a rubber swim cap; flexible, synthetic-rubber, neoprene swim vest; or Lycra swim top to stay warm.

Remember Your Warm-Up

In order to warm up your body, you must warm up your muscles -- and your circulatory system. Head into the pool before class begins and swim until the water rises to your chest when standing. Swim laps or do light calisthenics, such as a combination of water kicks and jumping jacks, for five minutes. Your muscles, lungs and heart should be ready for exercise by the start of class. And with the added warm-up that class will provide, you should stay warm throughout the workout. Class warm-up periods usually last between five and 10 minutes long.

Just Keep Swimming

Continuous movement keeps the blood pumping and the muscles warm. And that keeps you feeling toasty in even cooler pool water. Swim around or do light calisthenic exercise -- jumping jacks or water kicks -- during lulls in your water aerobic routine. Calisthenic exercises that may prove difficult on land, because of joint impact, are easier to do in water. Pool water gives your joints a buoyant, weightless environment to exercise in so you're able to keep moving throughout the class, even when you're not actively doing a routine.


There's a thin line between keeping warm and overheating -- even when in cool pool water. Normally when you rely on only a swimsuit, the external pool temperature regulates your body temperature. As you heat up, the water cools you down; however, if you're piling on too many water-warming layers to compensate for the cold, you may overheat. Limit yourself to one warming option -- vest, shirt or cap, if needed. And avoid frigid pools for aerobics, even with gear on. Cold water may cause muscle cramps and can make for a miserable aerobic experience.

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